Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘desire

Mystics and Sufis (June 16, 2009)

 Sufis refers to those who wore wool (souf) clothing during summers and winters.

Probably the first known Muslim Sufi is Abou Hachem who died in 780.  Muslim mystics and Sufis, of both genders, judged that sexual desire was the main enemy for rational thinking. 

They comprehended this dialectic: You cannot vanquish your enemy if you fail to know the enemy completely, since the mind is the most valued part in man. 

In “Memorial of Saints” Hasan Basri said of the woman Sufi Rabi3a (Rabia) Al Adawiya “I stayed a day and a night by Rabi3a, discussing with such ardor on spiritual ways and mystery of life that I had no idea if I was man and she a woman”

The differences between genders that permit union is viewed as the precondition for access to plenitude.

The Sufi Al Hallaj (857-922) was Persian and was burned alive for going too far in his mysticism: he said “God and I are one; I am the One I love; the One that I love has become me; I was exuberant in my love: I am chastised for that loving exuberance; my death is to survive and my life is to die; I feel that abolishing my bodily life is the noblest grace I was offered. My survival as I am is the worst of wrongdoing. My living has disgusted my soul. When I am dead you will find amid the calcified bones the surviving souls.”

Love is no longer a sign of weakness.

“Eros subjugates the hearts of only the one who carries the mark of excellence and a great delicate temperament” said Abi Hanifa.

“Love has the motif of an imperishable vision of beauty and splendor.” said Addaylami. In the world of the Sufis separation of man-woman and man-god are blurry and the dividing lines are shifting constantly.

The veil that hides the “others” is flimsy because love is a perpetual attempt to discover the ultimate in beauty, intensity, and refinement.

Fundamentally, Islam is the religion of reason.  (Islam dropped all the abstract myths of the known religions of the time, mainly the Christian dogma)

Desire is thus the risk to take that might distract you of knowing God, the focal point. 

Sexuality is not opposite to civilization but desire (a component of sexuality) is. 

Reason has to control desire. If desire (al hawa) meddle in science it pollutes it into error. If desire is exercised in power and overtakes the powerful then it corrupt both and lead to injustice.

If desire intercedes in the Imam, then religious laws and commandments are transformed from their proper meaning. 

Imam Ibn Al Jawzi said: “there is no sleep heavier than inattention (al ghafla) and no servitude as complete as desire.  If we exercise constant reflection then desire cannot triumph.  There is negative correlation between reason and desire: As one takes the ascendance then the other wanes into oblivion. Thus, the will (azm) and capacity of discernment (ra2i) are the two main aspects of the mind”

Desiring a woman may lead to succumbing to evil “the arrow in Satan’s arsenal that never misses is when he dispatches a woman to his victim”. 

Al Hallaj said: “If you assign a sensual individual to legitimate functions then he will occupy you in illegitimate activities. Learn to control and govern your behavior.”

Mystics are found in most religions: many of the “prophets” led mystic life of denigration of the body, eating lightly, fasting frequently, praying, contemplating nature and the living things around them, and seeking seclusion of society. 

I have visited one of the “monasteries” of the Maronite monks who were secluded from society at the altitude of 1,400 meters where snow covers the tiny village 7 months a year.  I have seen the room (2*3) meters of Mar Charbel, beatified as Saint for miracles he performed after his death, and I could not believe how a person could sustain such rough weather wrapped in a single blanket on a thin mattress.

Those mystic monks were allotted a garden to plough and they refused to meet with their parents and cousins.  They read only religious books.

I may understand someone who experienced life to the hilt deciding to change his life style; but for an adolescent to start a mystic life does not seem right and normal.

This kind of “grace” is pure expediting punishment for a youth imposed by institutions.

Mystics and Sufis, of both genders, achieved the highest level of serenity in personal victories after mastering the characteristics of the enemy to defeat; they faced it boldly; they lost many battles but their purpose was to keep up the struggle. 

Steadfastness in the struggle for the victory of rational thinking is the discipline of the courageous and strong men and women.

 Not many to say No to your projects. And Very few to say Yes. Do decide

No one to say no?

(Why I have this impression that everyone is willing to say “No: Don’t go ahead with your stupid project”?)

In a world that lacks so many traditional gatekeepers, there are fewer people than ever to say no to your project, your idea, your song. If you want to put it out there, go ahead.

On the other hand, that also means that there are fewer people who can say yes. That’s now your job too.

If you work in an organization, the underlying rule is simple:

People are not afraid of failure, they’re afraid of blame.

Avoid looking in the mirror and saying no.

More challenging: practice looking in the mirror and saying yes.



Contradictory meanings need not have the same roots: To Love and Be in Love

To love is to act. a process of activities: Listening, discussing, reaching compromise, tending a helpful hand

To Be in Love is to have an image of what we want and expect of the other person. We do not seek to observe and comprehend the real person.

We are in a state of delusion and only playing the game of the delusional lover with this “In Love” person may aid him recognize his state and move on. This is the “Gradiva” notion, a term used in Jensen that Freud analysed.

I am crazy of being in love, my delirium is unreasonable in the eyes of the others and I know it. And yet I cannot help myself recounting my state of affairs in a wise way. Nothing is sacred in me.

To be Crazy was defined as “He is another person“, a depersonalized individual.

Do you believe a confirmed crazy person can be in love?

It may very well be that To be Crazy is a means to return to the normal self, a subject with a shadow, because I consist, and I don’t socialize yet.

A person Being in Love wants and need confirmation by pictures of who the other person is meeting with, even though he knows what is happening.  That’s why we hire private investigators.

Simply because it is what we see that deepen of bruises the most.

The form of the relationship is all that matters. And nothing is beyond the actual image.

The biggest of uncertainty is “How much do I know of the Desires of the person I’m in love with”

Facing the reality that we are unable to uncover this enigma of the other person set of desires institutes a religious kind of belief system “I believe totally in her and need no facts or tangible knowledge about her. She has become a myth for me.”

The eternal feminine attracts us and elevates us.

These two emotions of to love and be in love correspond to Infatuation and Admiration.

When we admire an author, a musician, a painter… our opinions might be divergent.

We still can admire the talent, the internal effort of the author to better himself, be current and had acquired a comprehensive knowledge in many domains.

An author striving to have a universal reach for future generations.

Infatuation connote a local and short term passion to emulate an artist in everything, to the point of mindlessness.

Infatuation leaves a taste of bitterness as we outgrow the period and realize how foolish and immature we behaved.




April 2023

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